2

votes

Can cholesterol be too low?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 31, 2011 at 9:57 AM

I just got my blood test back, and not suprisingly A1c was 7.9, which is bad.. yeah, Im diabetic, big shocker. Something to work on.

The suprising thing was my cholesterol, it was hella low Total Cholesterol 127 HDL 38 LDL was in the 70s Triglycerides were 55

This seems amazingly low considering all the meat and bacon Ive been eating, and maybe is a bit too low for good health.

Im told that HDL should increase as my A1c drops, Should I otherwise be trying to increase those numbers and if so, how?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on October 31, 2011
at 09:04 PM

I have naturally low cholesterol. I peak at around 160 on a killer SAD diet or a healthy primal one. On a low fat, high carb diet (long ago) I was in the 120s. My son's first test in his teens was 118. We were both told to eat plenty of fat to keep ours as high as possible.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 05:48 PM

And stroke: http://strokedoc.typepad.com/stroke_doc/archives_hemorrhagic_stroke/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 05:48 PM

http://strokedoc.typepad.com/stroke_doc/archives_hemorrhagic_stroke/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 05:48 PM

And stroke......

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 03:36 PM

What ben, you think I am imagining stuff ? I have wild imagination but...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 03:36 PM

For every 1% the LDL-cholesterol level is lowered, there is a 1% decrease in cardiac events, whereas for every 1% the HDL-cholesterol level is elevated, there is a 3% decrease in cardiac events. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/584677_2

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 03:35 PM

Look, here it is: For every 1% the LDL-cholesterol level is lowered, there is a 1% decrease in cardiac events, whereas for every 1% the HDL-cholesterol level is elevated, there is a 3% decrease in cardiac events: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/584677_2

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 03:30 PM

Naturally, I can't find reference now.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 03:28 PM

Yes, there is way. Epidemiological studies, while far from perfect, show that its 3x difference. I certainly didn't imagine it. I.E. 1 unit down HDL is 3x worst then 1 unit up LDL.

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on October 31, 2011
at 01:52 PM

@Tom: Sisson didn't invent the 80/20 rule. It's been used in a lot of circles, not just health and nutrition, for years.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 31, 2011
at 01:21 PM

there is no way you can quantify your first claim with "three times". I agree that low HDL is no good but saying three times is silly

08cc3168845201b71e14751163b28940

on October 31, 2011
at 10:34 AM

No Tom, I wasn't aiming for a 80/20 rule, but that has been the result. I am still dialing in my behaviors. I can't aim for 80, because if I do, I'll end up doing 4 days of 0% and getting actually ill from it. I will keep at it and see if I can get that HDL up.

Eb5ad630bb366c5f7dcf656810aa3f95

(506)

on October 31, 2011
at 10:29 AM

Some primal folk seem to think that cholesterol levels are "nothing to worry about", but I disagree. I think rather than "ignoring cholesterol levels", you need to look at them as a symptom, rather than a cause. Clearly something is resulting in an HDL slump for you, and my guess would be the refined carbs and most likely trans fats that are in your drive thru's. Keep going, it can be done! And ask us for ideas and help about bringing your diet round to something easier and more manageable for you. All the best.

Eb5ad630bb366c5f7dcf656810aa3f95

(506)

on October 31, 2011
at 10:26 AM

Hi again, Ah - don't suppose you're going for Mark Sisson's 80/20 suggestion by any chance? In which case, I'm impressed (read "sceptical"!) that you know it is precisely that ratio! I'm obviously not here to "tell you off", but as I'm sure you're aware, the 80/20 rule is really about trying to eat 100% paleo and not beating yourself up when you slip up occasionally, rather than aiming for 80/20 (and probably only achieving 60/40). Continued...

08cc3168845201b71e14751163b28940

on October 31, 2011
at 10:18 AM

A month or so, and only 80% effective. As noted above, Im still struggling with the drive through window when I havent properly planned stuff out.

08cc3168845201b71e14751163b28940

on October 31, 2011
at 10:13 AM

for 30 days prior to this test 80% paleo (eggs, bacon, beef, salmon, chicken, avocados, veggies) and 20% SAD crap. Im still struggling with the whole fasting thing when my meal planning breaks down on me.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 31, 2011
at 10:07 AM

What's your diet like, btw?

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6 Answers

2
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on October 31, 2011
at 01:56 PM

I don't mean to scare you, but... I've read in several books (I think Primal Body, Primal Mind was one of them, maybe Good Fat, Bad Fat the other) that low cholesterol can be dangerous and is linked to cancer. I just did a Google search and the newest research is evidently that it may be a marker for undiagnosed cancer. Granted, that's health media, which is notorious for mis-reading the study-du-jour, but you may want to talk with your doc.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 05:48 PM

And stroke......

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 05:48 PM

http://strokedoc.typepad.com/stroke_doc/archives_hemorrhagic_stroke/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 05:48 PM

And stroke: http://strokedoc.typepad.com/stroke_doc/archives_hemorrhagic_stroke/

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 12:47 PM

Lower cholesterol is more dangerous then higher cholesterol. Lower HDL is more dangerous then higher LDL. Tree times, to be precise.

Brain will suffer, among other things, so its not good.

I do not think that your cholesterol is that low tbh.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 31, 2011
at 01:21 PM

there is no way you can quantify your first claim with "three times". I agree that low HDL is no good but saying three times is silly

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 03:36 PM

What ben, you think I am imagining stuff ? I have wild imagination but...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 03:35 PM

Look, here it is: For every 1% the LDL-cholesterol level is lowered, there is a 1% decrease in cardiac events, whereas for every 1% the HDL-cholesterol level is elevated, there is a 3% decrease in cardiac events: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/584677_2

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 03:28 PM

Yes, there is way. Epidemiological studies, while far from perfect, show that its 3x difference. I certainly didn't imagine it. I.E. 1 unit down HDL is 3x worst then 1 unit up LDL.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 03:30 PM

Naturally, I can't find reference now.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 31, 2011
at 03:36 PM

For every 1% the LDL-cholesterol level is lowered, there is a 1% decrease in cardiac events, whereas for every 1% the HDL-cholesterol level is elevated, there is a 3% decrease in cardiac events. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/584677_2

1
9bb33374b7e0eb1208920486d445c818

on October 31, 2011
at 10:47 AM

Coconut oil is best solution I can think of for low HDL. It got mine up from mid-50s to low-80s. Add to that the other health benefits and it's really a no brainer.

You should do fine by cooking in coconut oil or otherwise making sure you get around 4 tbsp of it daily.

1
Eb5ad630bb366c5f7dcf656810aa3f95

(506)

on October 31, 2011
at 10:15 AM

First of all this is a great example of how wrong people can be when they think that eating meat and saturated fat increases your cholesterol! And I'm sure your doctors will be happy about your LDL level.

What is interesting though is your low HDL level. I'd think that the way to increase that will be to try to eat a bit more monosaturated and oily fish fats, rather than all meat and bacon.

Out of interest, how long have you been paleo?

C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

(3225)

on October 31, 2011
at 01:52 PM

@Tom: Sisson didn't invent the 80/20 rule. It's been used in a lot of circles, not just health and nutrition, for years.

Eb5ad630bb366c5f7dcf656810aa3f95

(506)

on October 31, 2011
at 10:26 AM

Hi again, Ah - don't suppose you're going for Mark Sisson's 80/20 suggestion by any chance? In which case, I'm impressed (read "sceptical"!) that you know it is precisely that ratio! I'm obviously not here to "tell you off", but as I'm sure you're aware, the 80/20 rule is really about trying to eat 100% paleo and not beating yourself up when you slip up occasionally, rather than aiming for 80/20 (and probably only achieving 60/40). Continued...

08cc3168845201b71e14751163b28940

on October 31, 2011
at 10:34 AM

No Tom, I wasn't aiming for a 80/20 rule, but that has been the result. I am still dialing in my behaviors. I can't aim for 80, because if I do, I'll end up doing 4 days of 0% and getting actually ill from it. I will keep at it and see if I can get that HDL up.

08cc3168845201b71e14751163b28940

on October 31, 2011
at 10:18 AM

A month or so, and only 80% effective. As noted above, Im still struggling with the drive through window when I havent properly planned stuff out.

Eb5ad630bb366c5f7dcf656810aa3f95

(506)

on October 31, 2011
at 10:29 AM

Some primal folk seem to think that cholesterol levels are "nothing to worry about", but I disagree. I think rather than "ignoring cholesterol levels", you need to look at them as a symptom, rather than a cause. Clearly something is resulting in an HDL slump for you, and my guess would be the refined carbs and most likely trans fats that are in your drive thru's. Keep going, it can be done! And ask us for ideas and help about bringing your diet round to something easier and more manageable for you. All the best.

0
38a5208d553ee117acb9d36d2f683064

on November 01, 2011
at 06:24 AM

There was an article on this on WAPF website. You should check it.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 31, 2011
at 11:21 AM

Yes, cholesterol can be too low. But...

You should focus on dialing in that last 20% of your diet before obsessing over slightly low HDL I would think. And if you look, feel and perform to the level you like, what's cholesterol but just a number. I don't know my cholesterol. I know I'm healthy, feel great and perform well.

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